Because of the leg spinners’ ability to spin the ball both ways, they are emerged as the most potent bowling options in the middle phase of the innings in T20 cricket. Most of the IPL teams have got at least a leggie in their squad, while some of them have got two or three.
The purple cap in the last IPL was won by a leg spinner as well, as Imran Tahir of Chennai Super Kings took the honours with 26 wickets in 17 games, at an average of 16.57.
Most of the world’s top leg-spinners will be featuring in IPL 2020 again and they will have the spotlight on them, but some of the lesser known leggies might also make a mark in the tournament this time around. Here are the 3 leg spinners to watch out for in IPL 2020.
#1 Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi was the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded U19 World Cup and will feature for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020. Bishnoi got 17 wickets in just 6 games in the U19 World Cup, including a 4-wicket haul in the final which almost turned the game in India’s favour. He might get a playing opportunity for Punjab straightaway in the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin who was traded to Delhi Capitals in the off-season.
Bishnoi is a modern day leg-spinner who doesn’t give the ball a lot of air and bowls more of a flat trajectory. However, the good thing about him is that he puts a lot of revs on his stock delivery and gets it to turn, despite not flighting the ball.
Bishnoi has got a very subtle googly as well which is extremely tough to pick out of his hand. The batsmen are always reluctant to get onto the front foot against him as they are not sure which way the ball will turn after pitching.
#2 Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar was very impressive with the ball for the Mumbai Indians in the last IPL and was subsequently rewarded with a national call-up as well. However, he didn’t get a long run with the national side and was dropped after just one appearance against the West Indies.
Chahar’s strength is his height. He is quick through the air, but he doesn’t bowl back of length most of the time. He gets the ball right up, however the batsmen rarely get forward against him as they are wary of the extra bounce that he often generates.
Also, because Chahar's release point is much higher as compared to the other leggies, it makes it difficult for the batsmen to use their feet against him. Chahar got 13 wickets in 13 games in IPL 2019 at an average of 23.69 and a strike rate of 21.60.
#3 Murugan Ashwin
With Ravichandran Ashwin gone, Murugan Ashwin will be the senior spinner in the Kings XI Punjab squad in IPL 2020.
Murugan has got a very strong action, but he often struggles with his control, particularly when he tries to bowl full. When he bowls the three-quarter length, he looks decent, but just as he tries to go further up, he often pitches half volleys and allows the batsman to play the shots to release pressure.
The 29-year old, however, showed signs of improvement in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this season, as he managed to get 11 wickets for Tamil Nadu at an economy rate of less than 7.
Murugan gets the ball to skid off the surface and has got a very decent flipper. If he doesn’t err with his length, he can be very handy for Punjab and can form a lethal combination with Ravi Bishnoi.